Please allow me a little freak out here:
I just got home from a rehearsal for a student bellydance performance this weekend, and I was so nervous and stage-frighty that I could hardly stand it. My heart was beating so fast that I couldn't hold a proper shimmy. Ahhhhhh...what was I thinking when I signed up for this class.
"Smile!" my teacher instructed/encouraged. So I did. Or tried, as my jangling nerves made my jaw all but quiver.
When I finished, my teacher asked me how long I'd been dancing. "A year," I said.
"You have come so far in just a year, I'm so proud of you. You're a beautiful dancer." (At this point, I had to strongly resist the urge to duck my head bashfully, grind my toes into the ground and say, "aw, shucks, ma'am.")
Apparently, my face is an open book, and that book said I wasn't 100% happy with my rehearsal performance. "Stop mentally editing yourself," my teacher said. "But I am an editor," I replied. "I knew it, I knew it!" she exclaimed.
She said she bets I dance more confidently at home. "Oh, yes," I said. It's completely different at home."
"So pretend there's no one in the audience," a fellow student said.
Ah, I wish. But, alas, it's hard to pretend there's no one in the room when I also need to be remembering to make eye contact.
And, wouldn't you know it, just before I started this blog entry, I was alone, in my bathroom, under the pretext of getting ready for bed, when I probably put on one of my best solo dance performances ever in front of the mirror. Totally spontaneous, completely uninhibited. Go figure.